Commercial Screen Printing Equipment

A Guide to Commercial Screen Printing Equipment

The screen printing process allows you to make custom T-shirts quickly and easily. Screen printing is used by many small businesses because the equipment does not require much space and offers customization options for customers. If your goal is to make screen printing profitable, you may want equipment that is made to handle large orders so that your business is always staying busy.

What screen printing equipment can you choose from?

There are many pieces of new and gently used screen printing equipment you can find on eBay. Just a handful of these include:

  • Screen printing press: This press is what you use to put the pattern on the T-shirt. There are two types: manual and automatic.
  • Screens: These are pre-stretched wood frames that hold the pattern to be pressed to the shirt. These usually come blank so you can apply your own design.
  • 6-87 mesh: These screens are designed to be used on athletic wear.
  • 12-156 mesh: These screens are designed for general printing.
  • 6-230 mesh: These screens can be used to create fine lines, like lettering.
  • Squeegees: This tool allows you to evenly push the medium through the screen.
  • Printer and software: An inkjet printer and appropriate software are used to create the film positives.
  • Power washer: This piece of screen printing equipment allows you to wash screens for reuse.
  • Inks: This medium is what is used to create the design on the T-shirt. There are many varieties of ink, including plastisol, water-soluble ink, acrylic ink, and many more. Which type you need depends on the material of the garment you plan to work on.
  • Heat press: This equipment sets the ink by pressing completed T-shirts at high heat. Whether you need one depends on the type of ink and the material of the garment you plan to make.
What are the differences between manual presses and automatic presses?
  • Manual screen printing machine: Manual machines require you to manually push the ink through the screen using a squeegee.
  • Automatic machine: An automatic screen printing machine has an appendage that pushes the printing medium through the screen for you, allowing you to work on multiple shirts on multiple machines at once.
What is the difference between flash dryers and drying racks?

A flash dryer is used to cure u001a or partially cure - plastisol ink, so you can add another layer of it on top for a more intricate design. Because of their relatively small size and portability, they can be great for smaller screen printing businesses. You typically use a flash dryer if your design uses elements that overlap.

A drying rack lets you transport and store your blank screens or help dry completed screens when they are not in use. Some models are basic racks that allow projects to air dry, while others are full cabinets with a powered heater inside. While many are made from aluminum, some are also made of stainless steel and powder-coated metal.